Pop layers of fennel, cream and cheese in the oven for 20 mins, until golden and bubbling then serve with salad or any meat dish.
- 4fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 284-300ml carton double cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 60g (2oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
Set the oven to 200°C or gas mark 6.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the fennel. Simmer for about 5 mins, then drain it well.
Arrange the fennel quarters in an ovenproof dish. Mix the crushed garlic into the carton of double cream and season well with salt and pepper, then pour over the fennel. Scatter the cheese over the top.
Bake the gratin in the centre of the oven for 20-35 mins, or until the top is golden and the cream is bubbling. Serve immediately, on its own or as a side dish. (Not suitable for freezing).
Woman's Weekly cookery editor Sue McMahon says: Because of its mild aniseed flavour, fennel seems to be a vegetable that people either love or hate. Eaten raw, its flavour is quite noticeable, but this gets milder when it’s cooked.